This Ugandan play revolves around the corruption, religiosity and intolerance that one gay man must face.
In August of 2012 The River and the Mountain by Beau Hopkins became the first dramatic piece in Ugandan history to have an openly gay main character. One month later the producer, David Cecil, was arrested due to Uganda’s strict anti-gay laws. The Media Council had determined the play wasn’t properly censored and Cecil was reported to the Minister of Ethics.
David was released for a short period of time, but in February of 2013 the Ugandan government detained him again and then deported him with no notice. He was forced to leave his Ugandan family behind. In the meantime, Uganda’s parliament is still trying to pass an anti-homosexuality bill allowing a life sentence in prison for anyone found to be gay. With astonishing regularity a bill which would allow the death penalty goes on and off the parliamentary table. It is known informally as the “Kill the Gays” bill.
Actor, writer, producer, and professor Sarah Imes Borden decided to help shed light on this revolutionary piece of art and this social issue. Along with playwright Beau Hopkins, actor Okuyo Prynce, and fight director Ian Borden, Sarah is now introducing this very important work to audiences in the US, through a series of staged reading performances.
This work – and the politics surrounding it – deal with many questions Americans are wrestling with right now, including rights for LGBTQ citizens, fighting corruption in politics and facing international human rights crises.
Beau Hopkins, the playwright behind The River and the Mountain, will be joining Ugandan cast member Okuyo Prynce, the American cast and director Sarah Imes Borden for a series of readings and talkbacks. They will be aimed at promoting this vital play and a discussion of the gay rights situation in Uganda in light of their efforts to pass a “Kill the Gays” bill. This portion of the tour was funded by a Kickstarter campaign.We seek further funding to take our message to other cities. We have already been contacted by people in Phoenix, St. Louis, Seattle and San Francisco. While we believe we can secure some patronage in each location, we’d much rather know we can supplement with our own funds so that we never turn an audience away. This play has a message that everyone should see and experience.
For more information on The River and the Mountain, David Cecil and the laws in Uganda please visit these links. Thank you!